Tom Dornom – MSc Advanced Engineering

Graduate Tom says the University of Plymouth gave him the edge when looking for employment

"Studying Advanced Engineering Design gave me a larger portfolio of work I could use to display my skills and the qualification gave me something my peers from undergraduate courses did not have."

Tom Dornom

Tom Dornom

"Following a period of time out from University I realised there was a big distinction between a mechanical engineering job in a company’s design department and a design engineering job working from a product cradle to grave.

With companies hedging so much investment in Research and Design (R&D) the creative jobs are heavily sought after and tapping into this line of work had been proving difficult, especially straight after University.

During the course, we had some lessons on CV writing and future planning for after graduation which was incorporated as a graded module. This meant I already had a rough CV that just needed polishing. I then got offered an interview which led to my current job. I also enjoyed learning more about CAD (Computer-Aided Design) testing software such as computational fluid dynamics and finite element analysis.

I enjoy the creative freedom that comes with it. I am working in a small team in a growing company that is rapidly expanding allowing me direct influence on the design of the products. I will either be aiding other engineers or working directly on my project. Generally, I will be working with CAD either directly designing or using it to model other components."

"I love Plymouth and the city centre. The self-contained campus makes it a great university with a fantastic coastline, lots of parks, and being on the doorstep to both the moors and Cornwall there’s so much to do."

"My dissertation aimed to investigate the processes and equipment used in the vaccine cold chain to determine where improvements can be made to reduce vaccine wastage. The largest sources of wastage occurred in the developing world in hot climates such as sub-Saharan Africa. 

The cause was temperature excursions above and below the recommended vaccine temperatures of 2-8 degrees C rendering them ineffective and could be attributed to storing them in improper cold chain material.  

For my research, I looked into methods that previously existed and their issues, I fixed on the single largest contributing issue and sought a way to improve it. I went through the engineering design process to produce a product that could theoretically fix the problem. In my case, it was a mechanical box that opened and closed at certain temperatures so that ice inside could cool the vaccine fridges down during a power cut. I devised a computational fluid dynamics simulation modelling it and ran tests alongside using some old fridges I bought from gumtree as validation for the system.

Completing the dissertation helped land me my current job, it was a huge talking point throughout the interview process."

Three key things that aided me in landing a job:

  • The qualification that gives me the authority and proof I have been tested on an academic level to achieve in the field.
  • A selection of varied projects that could be demonstrated in a portfolio to display the level of work I achieved.
  • Computer-Aided Engineering skills: Solidworks certificated to prove my proficiency in one of the most, if not the most, important areas of design. Computation fluid dynamics and Finite Element analysis projects over multiple CAD packages.

Our school

The School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics is a friendly and exciting place to study. You will be taught by internationally recognised experts who are passionate about providing an excellent learning experience. Our researchers have been well known in the fields of structures, materials, and coastal engineering for many years.

You will join a community of approximately 100 staff and 2000 students; our graduates are eminently employable and we are proud of their contributions to society. Find out how your future could be shaped at the University of Plymouth.